Background: I moved into the property in...

Asked by InfoF on 21-01-2022 16:40:11
Question posted in the Landlord Tenant Law category relating to Gauteng

Background: I moved into the property in late September last year 2021, Signed the lease agreemnet. This is a shared property Main house (I am Renting) and the Granny flat (Landlord lives). we share the electric \ water meter. in the lease its states i pay 60% of the usage and she pays 40%. 

In October we had no issues we payed the rent and a few days latter the landlord appears with the electricity account, I paid my portion the same day no issue. 

November appears, i pay the rent No electricity bill. I ask the landlord a few times where is my bill nothing no reply.. The 31st december comes and the landlord appears with the Electric bill which was due to be paid the 15/12/2021.. With this she shows me a final demand from the electric company.. Stating she owes them R13,860.. Which came as a shock as the bill for November was R4798. Only to discover the landlord has been behind on all the municiple accounts for some time.. 

I advised the landlord that i will release the payment from my saving account and pay it ASAP. But since its the 31st and a weekend i can only release the funds on monday the 3rd Jan 2022. Which i do, Howevere on the 4th here comes the electric guy and disconnects the power.. Great now i am in the dark with a 4yr and a 1yr old cause the Landlord could not be bothered to give me the bill or even the Final notice in time even thou according to the statment the november bill was issued on the 24/11/2021 - And was due the 15/12/2021 Then she got the final demand after the 15th Nov and had 14days on that to sort it out.. But rather keep both in her possession till the 31st Dec knowing the power would be cut in a few days.. 

On the 5th Jan the money i transferd hits my account, And i advise the landlord to please go get my power back on as i work from home so no power means no work which could lead to no job. She agrees to go and get the power on.. Then i get the call, They will not put the power on unless we pay 30% of the bill... (Me thinking the November bill is only R4798 my 60% is R2,879.15 just pay it all and we good) my mistake they want 30% of the total amount the landlord owes which is now R21,800.53.... I ask now what she says, She budgeted her electric to be R1250 for November and R1250 for December so she only has R2500. But now the electric company want 30% of R21,800 = R6540 plus a reconnection fee, before they reconnect the power. So i transfer her R4,130 and she pays R2500. Totalling  = R6,630 Joy shortly after my power get reconnected.. 

The next thing we get a knock on the door, Supprise it's the landlord with another electric bill of R5000, And she says she already paid her portion of the R1250. Now i am no maths guru but according to my lease 40% of R5000 is R2000. 

Never less she seems to of forgotten her last R2500 went toward her 30% disconnection issues, and she is refusing to pay december electric meaning i have to now pay the Total R5000 to keep the lights on. Never mind i already overpaid by R1,245 from the last amount as i should of only paid R2,879.15 for November 

My Question: 

Surely the landlord complete lack of urgency in getting me the Bills, or even the termination notice, and getting my power disconnected because of her neglect and back arrears. is a breach of contract and as such i want to know can i cancel my lease agreement as i can see this is a constant monthly battle, Not to mention since we moved in 4mth ago we been waiting for my roof leak to be fixed, which has now caused brown stains and black mold on my ceiling, and my Bathroom still floods every time you do washing due a leaking tap which is both on the incoming inspection sheet.. 

If you would like to view the entire answer, you will need to either login or register a FREE account.

Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER: Advice or answers from Lawyers on SA Legal Advice are not substitutes for the proper advice of an Lawyer. SA Legal Advice is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Lawyer who assists with your question is not your Lawyer, and the response above is not to be considered to be legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains. The responses above are from individual Lawyers, not SA Legal Advice. The site and services are provided “as is”. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.